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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Aprilia Red Devils WSBK – Jerez Tests




Jerez (Spain), 27 January 2015 – The two days at Jerez de la Frontera for the Aprilia-Red Devils team were intense, with riders Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres busy with the final tests before the opening round of World Superbike 2015 which will be held in Australia on 22 February.

Thanks to the decidedly fair weather, Leon and Jordi were able to complete a tight testing schedule, increasing their familiarity with the reigning World Champion bike, the Aprilia RSV4, lap by lap. Lap times were encouraging, but what really counts is that the range of possible adjustments was explored in terms of setup and electronics, gathering information which will be useful as the season develops.

Leon Haslam, already fast at Portimão, confirmed his excellent condition. His harmony with a bike that is new to him is impressive, so much that the rider from Ealing was able to work on tyre wear, simulating race conditions. Haslam put in 148 laps, the best of which in 1’40.069.

Leon Haslam: “We took a lot of laps today, more than anyone else. We analysed a lot of things and now I feel really good on the bike in terms of setup. In a race simulation toward the end of the testing we were able to find a good speed and I gained confidence, even managing to improve on my best time using a soft tyre. That has always been a problem for me, putting the qualifier tyre to good use is another reason for us to be pleased with these tests. Phillip Island is a track that I like and apparently it suits my Aprilia well, so we’ll definitely be optimistic going into our first race.”

The “rookie”, Jordi Torres, showed significant progress compared to the previous tests. Determined to do well in his rookie World Superbike year, the twenty-seven year old Spaniard took full advantage of the two days he had, lapping consistently (169 times around the track by the end of the tests) and stopping the clock at 1’41.983 on his best lap. He also did a lot of work with used tyres and reported a decidedly positive feeling.

Jordi Torres: “I’m pleased with the way things went. We were able to try a lot of things. The bike is easy to ride, that’s my first impression, even if I still don’t feel like I’m at 100%, especially when braking in the middle of a turn. There are still a lot of things I need to figure out, but I’ll be heading to Phillip Island confidently, especially since we did a good job with race tyres. We could have shaved off a few more tenths of a second, maybe testing the qualifier tyre, but overall I’m quite pleased.”

Six-time World Champion Max Biaggi was also in the Aprilia garage at Jerez, with Michael Laverty working alongside him as a test rider. Biaggi made excellent progress, topped off with a best time of 1’41.9 in race simulation.

Max Biaggi: “At the beginning of these tests I had a bit of trouble getting back into the groove, but that’s normal after a long break. Little by little I began to feel more comfortable with the bike and my times began to show it, so as a result my enthusiasm also increased because I’m always happy to be in the saddle. I’m happy that we were able to complete the testing schedule. That’s what I’m here for and I adapted willingly to the Team’s needs. We are all quite pleased with this return 3 years after my last time around the track on a Superbike. In the future I expect to put in some faster laps so I can give accurate indications in “race” mode.”

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